Isaac Asimov:
Science Fiction Technology and Ideas
Isaac Asimov was born in Petrovichi, Russia in 1920. He was awarded a PhD in Biochemistry in 1948 and joined the faculty of Boston University. He started writing science fiction in 1939. He wrote:
"at the age of nine, he found the love of his life (in the inanimate sense) when he discovered his first science-fiction magazine. By the time he was eleven, he began to write stories, and at eighteen, he actually worked up the nerve to submit one. It was rejected. After four long months of tribulation and suffering, he sold his first story and, thereafter, he never looked back."
His extraordinary output comprises some 500 volumes on every conceivable subject. His most famous science fiction works include the Foundation trilogy and I, Robot.
Invention/Technology Source Work (Publication Date)

Self-Cleaning Autonomous Car
An automatic vehicle that keeps itself clean.

Sally (1953)

Single Vehicle Tunnel
A small diameter tunnel that accepts a single vehicle to a single destination.

Foundation (1951)

Solar Station
A satellite that gathers solar energy in space and then beams it to Earth (or other planetary surface).

Reason (1941)

Spy Beam
A surveillance device that projects energy into a room, revealing conversation taking place.

Foundation (1951)

Static Field
A defense against a spy beam.

Foundation (1951)

Stun Pistol
A hand-held device that causes unconsciousness.

Foundation and Empire (1952)

On a planet-wide city, the only way to get some sun without going to the roof.

Foundation (1951)

Talking Robot
An impractical robot, for display only.

Robbie (1940)

Telebook - words on a screen
A book made available in text on a television screen.

The Fun They Had (1951)

The Machines
A few of these can run a planetary economy.

The Evitable Conflict (1950)

Three Laws of Robotics (Rules of Robotics) - the original robot laws
The original formulation of Asimov's laws of robotics.

Runaround (1942)

Tiny Nuclear Generator
A complete nuclear-based generator of power no bigger than a walnut.

Foundation and Empire (1952)

Transcriber - an automated transcriptionist
A automated transcriptionist - a machine which perfectly translates human speech into words on paper.

Second Foundation (1953)

Trantor - planet city
A city that covers the entire surface of the planet.

Foundation (1951)

Ultrawave Relay or Hyperwave Relay - first use of FTL communication
Instantaneous, faster-than-light communication system.

Foundation (1951)

A person who presents video broadcasts.

Second Foundation (1953)

Visi-Sonor - emotional brain multi-media
An entertainment device which appeared to create both sound and light by acting directly on brain cells. It also stimulated emotions directly.

Foundation and Empire (1952)

The walls of a room provide illumination.

Foundation and Empire (1952)

Wandering Sunless Planet
A planet that is not bound to a star.

Dead Hand (1946)

Yeast Steak
Growing custom strains of yeast as food.

The Evitable Conflict (1950)

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